Potato Council: Canada issue ‘a plant health issue, not a trade dispute’ | TheFencePost.com

Potato Council: Canada issue ‘a plant health issue, not a trade dispute’

After meeting Thursday with Dennis King, the premier of the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, about the export of PEI potatoes to the United States amid the presence of the potato wart, National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles said, “NPC reiterated that this is a plant health issue, not a trade dispute, and we strongly support the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service commitment to protect the U.S. potato industry from this devastating disease.”

“We understand that APHIS is requiring that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency provide comprehensive data indicating where potato wart resides in PEI production areas,” Quarles added.

“Based on that information, CFIA and APHIS can agree on clearly defined quarantine zones, additional mitigation efforts, and comprehensive monitoring measures. We further understand that all of these requirements need to be in place to enable trade to resume safely.”

Quarles said the NPC appreciated King’s travel to Washington to discuss the issue, but that Canadian data shows that potato soil sampling has declined.

“The ultimate solution in satisfying the plant health experts at APHIS involves aggressive testing, quarantining, enhanced mitigation, and monitoring efforts. We look forward to discussing these plans once they are provided to USDA by CFIA with the goal of resuming trade with this important partner,” Quarles said.

Late Thursday, King expressed frustration with the Canadian government’s inability to convince the U.S. government not to threaten to ban Canadian potatoes, which resulted in the Canadian government stopping the exports,

“If we’re really Team Canada, let’s act like it’s Team Canada,” King said, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Company.


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